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What is Telemedicine?
Telemedicine is a platform through which patients can access the providers at Louisiana Orthopaedic Specialists using their home computer, laptop, or even cell phones without coming into the office. Louisiana Orthopaedic Specialists can provide orthopedic evaluation, advice, and treatment while maintaining Social Distancing and decreasing potential COVID-19 exposure for our patients. Telemedicine allows patients who are currently quarantined to keep up with their orthopedic appointments and treatments.
Can I use Telemedicine for any type of orthopedic appointment?
Telemedicine visits can be used at any time for your initial visits, follow-up visits, and postoperative visits. X-rays are sometimes required for our providers to complete their evaluation and diagnosis. If X-rays are needed you may be scheduled to come into the office to have them taken. If after the Telemedicine visit your doctor requires an in-person follow-up, it will be scheduled.
How should I prepare for a Telemedicine appointment?
Depending on what joint is being evaluated, we ask that you wear appropriate clothing for the visit to allow visual inspection of the problem area. If you are seeing a physician about your shoulder, we ask that women wear a tank top or sports bra that will allow them to see your shoulder on camera. If you are being evaluated for a new knee problem, it is helpful to wear shorts so that your knee can be seen by the provider.
Write down any questions you may have for the provider, advise them of your symptoms as thoroughly as possible. Complete detailed information about what you are experiencing helps our providers make a diagnosis or direct care without a manual examination. If you would like to have another person present with you during the Telemedicine visit, it is appropriate and often helpful. Your friend or family member is sometimes required to hold your communication device so the providers can visualize your foot, knee, hip, back, etc.
Are the physicians able to make a diagnosis using a Telemedicine appointment?
Complete diagnosis of an orthopedic problem often requires an X-ray and manual testing of your joints by our physicians and physician extenders. Telemedicine visits allow our providers to listen to your symptoms, evaluate the appearance and motion of your joints on the screen, and have you perform basic physical examination maneuvers on your own. Lots of information can be gained from the Telemedicine visit, but an X-ray or in-person examination may be required as well. These in-person visits and X-rays can be scheduled.
What type of treatment can be prescribed using Telemedicine?
Once the Telemedicine appointment is complete, our providers can order X-rays, an MRI, or other advanced imaging if required. Physical or occupational therapy can also be prescribed. Medications can be sent electronically to your local pharmacy. Certain pain medications, however, cannot be electronically prescribed or faxed to a pharmacy – these prescriptions will be made available for pick-up in person at our clinic.
What type of device do I need for a Telemedicine visit?
A home computer, laptop, iPad, or smart-phone with a camera can all be used to connect to the Telemedicine portal. Louisiana Orthopaedic Specialists will contact you via text message or email with a link to connect to our service. Once connected to the service you will be asked to enter your name and allow the program to utilize the speaker and camera on your device. You will then be placed in a Virtual Waiting room to connect with the provider. Please call our office 337-235-8007 if you have not received your link at the time of your appointment.
Are Telemedicine visits secure? Are they recorded?
The Telemedicine service used by Louisiana Orthopaedic Specialists is secure and private between the patient and the provider. Telemedicine visits are not recorded. Our providers will create an office note as if you had been seen in-person in our clinic with the appointment noted as Telemedicine.
Does my insurance plan cover Telemedicine visits?
Yes, nearly all insurance plans cover telemedicine appointments with a physician currently during the COVID-19 crisis period.
Are insurance copays necessary for Telemedicine visits?
Depending on your insurance plan, co-pays may be required. Our staff will collect these in advance of the appointment electronically or over the telephone.
Can a therapist prescribe and direct exercises through a telemedicine platform?
Your therapist can help you maintain the momentum you have gained in therapy with telemedicine visits. We are able to demonstrate, correct, and modify exercises that help you continue to progress strength and range of motion. The telemedicine platform also gives us the unique opportunity to provide advice regarding your home environment and daily activities to further improve your function.
Does my insurance plan cover Telemedicine visits?
Most, but not all insurance plans cover telemedicine for physical and occupational therapy at this time. Please call our office at 337-235-8007 for verification.